The Department for Education has recently published statistics on the attainment of young people aged 19 in the 2015 to 2016 academic year. Below are the headline stats for the region:
- 3% of North East 19 year olds who did not achieve GCSE English and maths at A*-C or another Level 2 qualification at age 16, achieved this by the age of 19 in 2016. This compared to just 12.0% ten years earlier, but is still lower than nationally (24.1%).
- However, there is a lot of variation between local authorities – from Darlington with just 13.5% to Hartlepool with 31.8% – in other words a 19 year old who had not achieved Level 2 qualifications in English and Maths at 16 was more than twice as likely to reach this standard by 19 as a 19 year old in the same situation in Darlington.
- In 2016, 67.1% of 19 year olds in the North East are qualified to Level 2 with English and Maths – this is higher than Yorkshire and the Humber (67.0%) and the West Midlands (66.7%) but is lower than the national level (68.6%).
- There is a big difference between young people who were eligible for Free School Meals (42.5%) and those who were not (72.9%). This gap of 30.4% has increased slightly on 2015, but the general trend is a slight narrowing. Nationally, the gap is narrower at 26.9%.
- The smallest FSM/non-FSM gap in the region is South Tyneside (23.3%), whilst the widest is in Sunderland (35.2%).
- 6% of 19 year olds in the North East are qualified to Level 3 – this is the lowest of all of the English regions and compares to 57.1% nationally.
- 2% of non-FSM young people in the region are qualified to Level 3, compared to 27.8% who are FSM-eligible. In this case, Darlington has the smallest gap of all of the North East LAs (23.1%) and Newcastle has the widest (32.8%).